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mission trip

Local Focus by Kevin Underwood

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Local Focus by Kevin Underwood

“What? We are going on a mission trip to where?!”

I remember those exact thoughts when I learned that our Fellows class was headed to my home state for a week-long mission trip. In fact, I probably laughed out loud. However, when our feet hit the ground in Chattanooga and I saw where we would spend the next several days, my opinion changed.

I knew that we didn’t have to go a third-world country across the globe to do a “missions trip”, but Chattanooga made it tangible. I never knew that I could be so oblivious to circumstances so close to home. This trip opened my eyes and filled with memories that I will never forget. We helped fix a house and move one of the ministry’s neighbors. We volunteered at a local afterschool program, put on a skit, and played a lot of basketball. And we worshipped with community members and heard their testimonies.

I lived overseas for over a year after college, and I am passionate about missions abroad. However, I believe now that we must be focused locally to impact our own communities. We do not have to look outside our own home, neighborhood, workplace, church, or schools to see the desperate need for Christ. My time in Chattanooga as a Fellow will always impact how I see my faith integrating with my daily life. 

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Hope for the Inner City: A Fellow Reflects on a Mission Trip

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Hope for the Inner City: A Fellow Reflects on a Mission Trip

Every year the Charlotte Fellows take a mission trip to Chattanooga to work with an organization called Hope for Chattanooga, an inner-city, cross-cultural ministry. In the weeks leading up to our trip, we read through different quotes, Scripture verses, and thinkers on the topic of cross-cultural missions and the significance of racial diversity. 

As we engaged with the material, my mind kept returning to a thought put forth by Richard Stearns, the president of World Vision. In his book The Hole In Our Gospel, he shares how his friend went through the entire Bible, cutting out pages that had any reference to social or racial justice. By the time he was finished cutting, there was barely any Bible remaining.

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